Blackberries, todays pick

               This mornings pick, the dab of sun we got yesterday really kicked them into gear.

busy busy, digging elephant garlic and garden update

Ok first off let me say we are fine. Our farm our home etc. has not flooded. I appreciate the emails from you guys asking if we are ok. Luckily we are good. We are in standing water like I guess every other person in  a large part of Texas but no serious flooding at our farm. I am posting this here so I could answer every one at once sorta.... I am so pinched for time, my email box is full but its going to have to wait. :O)  My post are going to be a bit hit or miss for a bit. :O)

I am going to do a long but fast post so excuse the typos okie dokie. I have more roman shades to make :O). The garden needs attention now and I am starting to harvest some things. Just got back from Arkansas. My best bud and I had a super time and giggled so hard a few times we were in tears. Its rare to meet another person that you click with in every area. Your two peas in a pod. I feel very lucky indeed to have such a good friend.  We drove on a road that was .....well there are no words for it and it will always be one of those things we look back on and say remember....... LOL..... then we had to put my Subaru in XMODE to get down one spot (xmode the car can take extremely steep decline ).. whew... 
Its funny now but it so wasn't while we were on it! 

Today I dug some of my elephant garlic as I was worried it was rotting. I knew it was getting close to time to harvest but with all the water I was worried it couldn't go much longer. It looks good, a lot of its nice and big too! I left some in the ground if the tops looked like it could take some more time to grow. I decided to use my little greenhouse, the little green shelves you see that have a cover as drying racks! I always read to not wash your garlic or onions when you pull them. To knock the loose dirt off and then let them dry like that. Well this year since I am digging in some serious mud there was a ton of it stuck to them. I got off as much as I could without bruising that fine outer layer that is papery when they are cured. As they dry I am sure a bit more will fall off them if I brush them gently.  Since we are at nearly 100% humidity right now every day and have been with all this non stop rain I hope they will cure ok. I have them inside the garage.

 Some looked like the below ones, more like onions than garlic LOL.. but the tops were just gone on these so I dug them and the stalks were starting to rot in places. They will be edible I am quite sure so oh well they don't have quite the size or the pronounced individual looking cloves.
 Below are the little bulbettes LOL that is what I call them anyway. I have no idea what the right name is for them..... They are on elephant garlic when you dig it.. Last year I just broke them off and stuck them right back in the ground. This year I am not doing that as I am hoping it will dry out some and then I will put them back in the ground.  I am afraid they will rot if I stick them back in now if we continue to stay this wet.

 Not knowing if they would do anything ... the garlic you see below in with the raspberry plants (I have yet to get dug up and moved)  are those little bulbettes from last year! When it first started coming up I thought I didn't plant garlic there how did all this elephant garlic get here LOL... Ya the brain at 50 tries to play tricks on you rofl rofl.. I then finallllly remembered I had stuck all the bulbettes off my elephant garlic last year where these were all coming up.  I have not dug any of these yet. The tops look a lot better on these so they can stay in the ground longer. It maybe too that is the very reason they are not ready to dig. Because they grew from tiny bulbettes instead of large cloves of elephant garlic. I am curious to see what I get.

some of my Zuch plants look like this 
 Some look like this. Since I garden in raised beds my garden is managing pretty good I guess really. I know some people who have totally lost everything. Their garden is under water literally and gone. I hate that for them.

I am just starting to get some off my plants now. the big striped one is from Franchi Italian seeds ( I am VERY impressed with every seed I bought from them and I will be a customer of theirs from now on, ya'll might want to check them out) (I am not affiliated in anyway at all with them just a happy customer) the seed quality was excellent, the germination rate was top notch and the plants are some of my first to put on) the yellow Zucchini is from Baker Creek / golden zucchini. Don't remember who the green came from its just your regular green Zuch.

Because we have stayed so cool so long (totally not like here) and because we are swimming in water my onions have had yet another hurdle to over come. Yall know they had a super rough start during the winter as well. So really over all I feel like they are looking pretty good given what all they have been through. I decided to plant some of my trailing squash in the row even though they were not ready to pull.  Usually by now my onions are out and I have my row back for squash or what ever. I hoped they would grow around the squash and they have!
 Yes some of the tops are rotting but the bulb feel firm still. I am watching them close and will be pulling them very soon. Just so much water.
 If you enlarge the photos you can see I have some real nice sized onions under that squash plant lol

red onions are not doing well. I put them in two spots and neither group is doing a whole lot.  But they will be edible. 
Cool temps and so much rain, my peppers look pretty bad. None of them look to good. But I am hopeful that as soon as it dries out some which I think surely it will we are at June. Plus its starting to warm up now. I think they will rebound. Keeping fingers crossed.

Cucumbers again slow to get going but they are getting a nice foot hold now. I have two other trellis of these this is the nicest looking of course LOL. Didn't take a pic of the itty bitty ones lol
 Eggplants seem to like all this rain and no sun and cooler temps. Which is odd because that is all backwards of what I thought they liked LOL
                                   Some happy swiss chard.

The tomatoes are struggling bad. I have some that look like the first photo (not many over all).. and then I have a lot that look like the second photo. They are gone will have to replant. See if that works out. They simply haven't been able to handle the vast amount of water.

 All four of my Fuyu Persimmon Trees are doing super good! I was so very worried for them. Being they were bareroot when I put them in last fall and they have just been in water non stop since! But they all leafed out and are growing! The two I started from seed are still in pots and are doing great too!

Looks to be a bumper crop of blackberries! They are just starting to get ripe now. I am planning to try  my hand at blackberry wine this year :O)

Done, done, done, whew ....




This client total, 15 roman shades. A bid out now on another full house of roman shades. 
But first, my road trip! I need a break :O).  But very thankful for all the work I am getting!
A little scary leaving honeyman to hold down the farm, LOL.  Luckily with all this rain we are getting I don't have to worry about the gardens!

More Roman shades and tools of the trade

I am working on 8 roman shades right now. Ivory linen. For those that sew clothing or wear linen you know linen wrinkles if you even look at it LOL. Home Decor Linen is no different in that respect. 
My other issue with using linen for roman shades is getting a good crisp perfectly straight edge. 
 See that white 5" wide strip laying rumpled on the table. That is buckram used in the tops of pinch pleated drapes. I use it to fold the edges of the shade over and press. Its stiff so it gives me a good straight sharp edge. Otherwise when you fold linen over on its own it has a tendency to waffle and sway in and out a bit. Its not a huge amount but with a roman shade it will show like a huge amount even if its just a tiny bit.

If any of you see the lighter in the tray on my table, no I do not smoke!!! I use that lighter to burn the ends of cord so they don't fray! :O)... Just want to be sure I clarify that! I know all that looks like a mess LOL.  I am not big on working in a huge mess. Some people work better in a big mess, some don't. I am the latter of the two. Neither is right or wrong its all in what environment you work best in.  Believe me that isn't a mess compared to what a drapery work room can look like :O).  The pile of stuff you see on the end of this table is about as messy as I can go LOL and work. I am actually using all of what is laying there so it stays out till I am done.
You got rulers, double side drapery tape, masking tape, iron, pins of various kinds, ligther, buckram, cord spool holder with cord, pliers, staple gun just out of the photo, roman shade rings, staple puller, calculator, bottle of distilled water for the iron, pencil, bolt of  white lining and a few other things.
                                                   My drapery table rulers. Gotta haves!!
 Thread, can one ever have to much thread? No :O). They all do different things you see. A spool of thread is not just a spool of thread. There is serger thread, regular sewing thread, upholstery thread, in my case I have quilting thread and machine embroidery thread. and the list continues.

 I better get back to the roman shades, I have a girl trip planned with my best bud in a couple weeks so I have to get these done! We are going to Arkansas!!  Honeyman and Keeper will be holding down the farm.

Saffron experiment update. The good, the bad, the maybe?

Okay guys, well you know we have had a unreal amount of rain here over the winter and spring. So much so its been just down right weird. Of course Murphy's Law, I put my saffron bed in late last fall. Next time we need rain I will just plant something that doesn't like it LOL.

I dug up a few bulbs/croms to see what was going on in my saffron bed. I wish I had done it sooner. Live and learn with saffron I guess.
1. There were some rotten ones.
2. They had made babies so I thought that was a very good sign.
3. Not all the bulbs were rotten just maybe one in the cluster. The rest of the bulbs/croms were still firm.
4. They are not "rooted" in. I don't know what this means. I am wondering if this is why Saffron rots so easily because when it goes dormant the roots die off of the bulbs as as the green in effect its just a dormant bulb sitting there in soil. Its not like a regular plant that has live roots all rooted into the dirt? I don't know if this is true its just a theory on my part or better I guess a question?

I know they look bad, but like I say only one in this cluster was rotten that I dug up the others were not and I dug up a few with no rotten ones. I think / hope this means I have time to salvage this situation.
So I did this to make sure that no more rain gets in that bed! It drains well and its a darn good thing. I used mostly organic matter in this raised bed as I had read that was good for them and I added a little sand. In hind sight I wish I had used at least 1/3 sand.

I used what I had to do this.  A bucket of stakes, some nine gauge wire and duck tape. A roll of painters plastic. 
I drove the wood stakes in the ground. 

Then I cut my wire for making the hoops, I pushed the wire into the ground several inches on the outside of the wood stakes and then I used duck tape to tape it all together. I have said it before, duck tape is a girls best friend! 
 I rounded up anything I could find to lay on the plastic to hold it down on the sides. I didn't want to staple it to the stakes because I will no doubt need to fold it back like this on nice sunny days due to heat build up.
I raided the scrap pile, found a big long board and some big pieces of rebar. Drug those over to the bed to lay on the plastic down the sides.
 Next to duck tape these little clips are a life saver. I have used these things for everything under the sun! They are cheap too. They are easy to squeeze but hold tight. My hands are not big enough to do those big clips honeyman uses for stuff. These last forever and so I grabbed my little tub of clips as well.
I put the clips on top of the plastic and clipped it to the wire hoops every so often all the way down in different spots.
Rolled up on side for air circulation.

I will keep it rolled up on the ends for air circulation as it heats up super fast as I found out when I was putting it together and had the ends down... We have another 7-8 day stretch of daily rain coming starting tomorrow. I did this this morning. After seeing the bulbs/croms I knew they couldn't take anymore rain. I wish I had checked them sooner. I kept meaning to. Could of, should of, would of.... arghhhh
 This way I can even close the ends off to prevent rain from blowing into the bed if I need to. Both ends I left the plastic long enough.

Ok so here is my question to you guys... lets have some opinions. I was wondering if I should dig up the croms/bulbs and let them dry out. Then replant them AFTER I amend the dirt to a higher portion of sand!
I just am not sure what to do at this point. I wondered if the ones that were rotting would just spread rot to the rest and I will loose any that have a rotten bulb in the cluster. I hate to loose alllll these. I forget now how many hundred I planted, I would gladly dig them all up and separate out the firm ones from the mushy ones and let them dry..... rework the bed adding in more sand I think..... if that would be a good thing to do. I am just not sure what to do?

Sunny day outside and the Amaryllis are starting to bloom!

Do you love these or what. Amaryllis

   Paw Paw trees, my best bud started from seed, she shared two with me!

So you all remember I am digging up and moving my two rows of raspberries. Hoping they will do better in another location. Well ok I was going to dig them up and toss them, but I can't toss plants LOL.. then I was going to dig them up and give them away, then I was going to dig them up and move them ..
ok I have decided to find a new spot or them. Why you ask since they have not made berries would I do that. Well because of course since I am now digging them up they are blooming! Well a few are. I am going to give them another try. Its not that the plants didn't do well they grew and grew and grew HUGE. I just never got any berries in 2-3 yrs. But maybe a new location will change that. 
Plus to be honest, I want these two rows back in my front vegetable garden for veggies!
This where I am at with the digging, you can see the row to the left and the one to right. I am getting there.
Oh there is one blackberry bush in the row to the left that was suppose to be a raspberry but turned out to be a blackberry and a really good one. I have rooted off 12 plants from it, I am afraid it may kill it when I move it. I hope not but it may. But I have 12 more if it does.
These are some raspberries I dug up last fall and overwintered in pots 
these I dug up yesterday 
these yesterday as well, don't they look sad.... they do this then they adjust ... its the shock no doubt of being dug up. 
These I still have to dig up! Also I have another section on the other row to get yet. I have already started planting veggies in the areas I have emptied in these rows.. You can see tomatoes at the end there.  There are some raspberries growing up through the brick holes you see in the front there.. those I can't get out.. they are caught in the wire that we have down to prevent moles. I will just have to cut them off to the wire and pour vinegar on them in hopes it will kill them sadly. But its not like I have a shortage of plants.. I am going to have pots and pot and pots of raspberries

Do you all do this? 
I cannot help myself. I don't need these plants LOL I have plenty. But because I can, I root off more. Or because I can I plant seeds and grow trees or anything else I can grow from seeds LOL. 
This is very common at my house. I have pots of stuff all over the place I have rooted off or started from seeds etc. 

Mimosa trees and Tallow trees I started from seeds in pots. I over winter them like this .. You can see in the background to the top left more pots of stuff ...

These are my Rugosa Roses! I ordered a bundle of starts.. They were little fellas when they came in. Well mail order. You know how everything is always really small from mail order places. I planted them each in a pot. They are ready to plant in the ground now for sure. They took off  very easy and very well from the starts. These roses make a lot of rose hips, which I want.  Medicinal uses and cosmetic. Not to mention the flowers themselves you can use to make all sorts of things, I even have a recipe saved for Rose Jelly!

I have other stuff in there too.. My friend gave me some elderberries they are in there :O). Then I was given some starts of Wisteria, I have to tell you I had my doubts they were little bits of roots and kinda broken up. I potted them up and to my delight they all lived and I have three big old pots of wisteria now to put somewhere. Oh there is a Mulberry tree in there which has gotten about 5 feet now I need to get him in the ground. All the mimosa and tallow trees I have started because so many trees have died here. They are both fast growing trees and pretty trees. Plus the bees love both of them! We sadly have Oak Wilt in our area of Texas and its wiping out oak trees with a vengeance. Huge old giant oaks are just dieing off right and left and smaller ones as well. So I picked these two tree because they grow really fast and the bees love them for making honey. They were also super super easy to start from seeds. I got some Catawba tree seeds from my cousin that he got off the tree that was in my Grandpas yard. How cool is that. I have had them in the fridge now for a bit and they are ready to put in pots!  :O). I would love some seeds of a Royal Empress tree, if any of you guys have a Royal Empress tree I would love some seeds!